IAMZ promotes and coordinates cooperative research programmes in order to facilitate the collaboration between experts belonging to research teams from CIHEAM member countries and other European and non-European countries. The general objective is to analyse the problems affecting Mediterranean agriculture, aquaculture, natural resources and the environment, carrying out a joint search for results and enabling the exchange of results by harmonising methodology and applied techniques.

Structures to develop cooperative research programmes are research networks and research projects. The research networks are structured groups of researchers, covering topics of wide scope, with a stable coordination structure and a large and consolidated participation of persons, institutions and countries. The research projects arise from the networks and working groups and always have a fixed duration (normally between 3 and 4 years) determined by their financing, generally external, mainly from the EC through their different programmes.

The link between these cooperative research structures and the IAMZ training programme constitutes one of the fundamental sources of information exchanges, collaboration between experts and strengthening of the scientific level of the research and training programmes.